|The purpose of this page is to help you understand the RPL (Recognition of Prior and Concurrent Learning) Policy and the steps needed to complete your RPL application.|
What is RPL?
Recognition of Prior and Concurrent Learning (RPL) is defined as: “a process by which learning is formally identified, assessed and given a value”.
- RPL encompasses all forms of prior and concurrent learning, including learning acquired by following a course of study (i.e., formal learning), learning acquired outside of the formal education system which may not lead to certification (i.e., non-formal learning) and learning acquired through experience.
- Prior learning refers to learning achieved prior to admission to a programme of study.
- Concurrent learning refers to learning that has been completed outside of the programme after the student has been admitted to the programme.
Please ensure you have read this guide and the Recognition of Prior and Concurrent Learning Policy and confirm with your Programme/School Office that RPL applications to have prior learning recognised to count towards the credit requirements of your programme are accepted by the Board governing your programme.
UCD encourages lifelong learning and provides the opportunity for prior and concurrent learning to be recognised. Students can apply to have prior and concurrent learning recognised for the purposes of admission into a UCD programme of study, or credit applied towards a UCD programme of study (for example to replace elective credits in a Stage), or transfer into or between UCD programmes. The Recognition of Prior and Concurrent Learning Policy, and all supporting documentation, applies to all UCD programmes at undergraduate and graduate levels.
If you would like to have prior or concurrent learning recognised to count towards your UCD programme you should complete the RPL application form if:
- You have applied for a place on a UCD programme, or
- You have accepted a place on a UCD programme
Receiving an offer of admission to a programme is not a guarantee that you will be successful in any RPL application to have learning recognised
This does not relate to using RPL to meet the admissions requirements of a programme. If you are a prospective student seeking admission to UCD and you do not meet the required admissions criteria as set down for a particular programme of study in UCD, you may apply to be admitted based on prior learning, including experiential learning, or as a mature student.
- Please see information for undergraduate applicants on grounds of mature years or contact UCD Admissions.
- Applicants to graduate programmes should contact the relevant School Office for information in the first instance.
This does not relate to using RPL for approved pathway programmes. Please contact your Programme/School Office to find out if it is relevant to your application.
When should I complete the RPL application form?
An application for RPL should be made as early as possible and preferably before you commence the relevant module/stage/programme.
If you submit an RPL application relating to a particular module(s) after the module(s) has commenced you should register for, attend and participate in the module(s) until you are informed of the decision of the Board governing your programme. If your application is not successful, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the module(s).
You may expect to hear of the outcome or status of your application typically within four weeks of submitting it.
Incomplete applications will not be accepted. It is your responsibility as an applicant to ensure you supply all necessary supporting evidence and documentation and sign the form as required.
The possible outcomes of an RPL application:
- Prior learning recognised for the purposes of admission to a programme (please see above).
- Prior or concurrent learning recognised for the purposes of having credit transferred towards the requirements of the UCD programme of study.
- In some cases your application may not be successful or you may not receive RPL for the amount of credit for which you applied. In such cases, you are responsible for all assessments associated with the modules on your programme and therefore should register for, attend and participate in the module(s) until you are informed of the outcome of your application.
Receipt of RPL credit for a UCD programme may disqualify you from being eligible for medals or prizes which are offered by the programme – for further information regarding this, check with the Programme Office.
The amount of credit based on prior or concurrent learning that you may have recognised towards your UCD programme is determined by the Board governing your programme. The evidence of learning that you provide in your application will be compared to the published learning outcomes for the programme/modules for which you seek to have learning recognised. The Programme Board will determine whether you have achieved the learning outcomes that you would have achieved by fulfilling all requirements of the UCD programme of study. The module descriptor/programme can be accessed from the search webpage.
- Information on learning outcomes and levels of learning can be found on pages 71/72 of the Academic Regulations
- Information on module descriptors/programmes
- Recognition of Prior Learning Policy
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Guide for UCD Academic Staff in assessing RPL applications